On Thursday, Feb. 14, the University Office of Communications announced that seniors Annabel Barry ’19 and Sydney Jordan ’19 have been named co-recipients for the 2019 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, “the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate.”
The Pyne Prize was established in 1921 following the death of Moses Taylor Pyne Class of 1877, for whom the prize is named. A University trustee for 36 years after graduating, Pyne is also the namesake of Pyne Hall and the M. Taylor Pyne Professorship.
Barry, an English major from Southport, Connecticut, with certificates in European cultural studies, humanistic studies, and theater, has received a number of other awards during her time as an undergraduate, including the 2018 George J. Mitchell scholarship, the 2018 George B. Wood Legacy Junior Prize, the 2018 Princeton Bread Loaf fellowship at Oxford University, and the 2017 Tim K. Vasen Summer Research Award.
Barry attributes the Pyne Prize and her overall success throughout her undergraduate career to individuals in her life both at home and on campus.
“I'm filled with gratitude for this recognition, which I could never have achieved without the help of so many others,” wrote Barry in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “From my parents, and especially my mother, who was my first teacher; to professors and mentors who have made the effort to support my growth not only academically, but also personally; to friends who consistently inspire me with their intelligence, passion, and kindness.”
Barry noted that in the past three and a half years, the University has provided with her with numerous opportunities to leave her comfort zone and explore new passions, such as “volunteering off campus, traveling and studying internationally, designing sets and seeing them realized on the Berlind Theatre stage, [and] leading a publication.”
“Having the resources and support to take creative and intellectual risks, and sometimes to fail, has contributed to my personal growth in ways I could never have foreseen,” Barry wrote. “I'm most proud to be part of an institution that encourages all of its students to make original contributions to the world, in such a variety of forms.”
After graduation, Barry will begin working towards a master’s degree in philosophy and literature, funded by the George J. Mitchell scholarship, at University College Dublin. According to the press release, Barry’s long-term professional goal is to become “a literary critic and nonfiction writer with a career in academia.”
A philosophy concentrator from Manassas, Virginia, with a Near Eastern Studies certificate, Jordan has demonstrated herself to be a prominent leader on campus, having served as the Undergraduate Student Government Diversity and Equity Committee chair, a Community Service Inter-Club Council representative, a Princeton University Chapel deacon, and a Student-Athlete Wellness leader.
Jordan has extended her commitment to service even beyond campus, volunteering at the Trenton YMCA after-school sports clinic and for Habitat for Humanity with the Princeton Varsity Club.
Apart from her academic and service-oriented responsibilities, Jordan has played on the varsity women’s basketball team since her first year, winning the Ivy League Tournament championship with her teammates in 2018. While competing in Australia in 2016, Jordan and her teammates also led a leadership clinic at the Meriden School and a youth sports clinic at the Yarrabah Aboriginal Community Center.
In the University press release, Jordan called her teammates her “family away from home” who have supported her academically and personally since the beginning of college. Furthermore, she expressed gratitude to the “mentors, professors, faith leaders, and coaches” who “offered up their time and advice to help [her succeed]” and ultimately receive the Pyne Prize.
“Receiving this incredible honor will serve as a constant reminder that the Princeton community believes I can make a difference,” Jordan added.
In a statement to the ‘Prince,’ Jordan recognized that beyond the exposure to “some of the most inspiring people [she’s] ever met,” her time at the University has given her a plethora of opportunities to grow as an individual.
“It has provided me resources and support to travel the world, and helped me grow and serve my community,” Jordan wrote. “I am so grateful for these opportunities, and for the people who made them possible.”
After graduation, Jordan plans to either join a nonprofit through the University’s AlumniCorps Project 55 Fellowship or work at a law firm as a paralegal or legal assistant, with long-term plans of attending law school.